Each year, the Irish Car of the Year judging panel conducts a comprehensive assessment of all eligible vehicles. Members of the jury road-test each car individually (at least one road test per juror per vehicle) at official launch events hosted by car brands or on week-long drive appraisals.
The ICOTY jury also hosts a refresher drive day at Mondello Park in Co. Kildare, each October, giving jurors an additional opportunity to familiarise themselves with eligible models. Vehicles are judged against the following criteria:
- New technology / ideas
- Safety factors
- Equipment level, fuel economy, practicality
- Environmental impact (emissions, recyclability)
- Use of space, comfort, ventilation, layout
- Build quality, fit and finishing
- Ride, dynamic qualities, road-holding, steerability, manoeuvrability
- Engine, ease of driving, braking
- Price, warranty, dealer network, after-sales service
- Driver / user feedback
Once all vehicles have been comprehensively assessed, the ICOTY jury compiles a shortlist of contenders for the 11 category prizes plus overall title of Irish Car of the Year.